TIISTAI, 25. ELOKUUTA 2020
Set your internal clock to ‘Fiji time’: exploring the archipelago’s exquisite beaches, undersea marvels, lush interiors and fascinating culture shouldn’t be rushed.
Dazzling sands, perfect palm trees and waters so blue they glow – Fiji’s beaches look airbrushed. While stunning stretches abound, it’s on the islands of the Mamanucas and Yasawas that you’ll find heavenly heavyweights. These beaches are the poster-child for paradise, luring thousands of visitors keen to discover their own South Sea idyll. The appeal of the islands stretches beyond holiday snaps; the reefs, bays and sublime sands have provided cinematic eye candy to films including Cast Away with Tom Hanks and 1980 teen-dream classic The Blue Lagoon.
Wetter is Better
Fiji’s calm seas belie the riot of life going on within. With seemingly endless stretches of intensely coloured reefs and more than 1500 species of fish and colossal creatures Fiji’s underwater world is worth the plunge. Seasoned divers and snorkellers will find plenty to excite them, while first-timers will be bubbling excited exclamations into their mouthpieces. Anywhere a fin flashes or coral waves, you’ll find a diving or snorkel day trip and there are excellent live-aboard journeys for those after a truly immersive experience.
Beyond the Beach
While it’s easy to spend your holiday in, on or under the water, those who take the time to towel off will be rewarded by a wealth of terra firma treats. Fiji offers ample opportunities for hikers, birdwatchers, amblers and forest-fanciers, particularly on the islands of Taveuni – known as ‘The Garden Island’ for its ludicrously lush interiors – and Kadavu, a less-travelled slice of prehistoric paradise with almost no roads to speak of. If urban wildlife is your thing, Suva boasts a surprising nightlife scene, while towns like Savusavu entice with rollicking taverns and meet-the-locals haunts.
A Warm Welcome
Fijian life revolves around the church, the village, the rugby field and the garden. While this may sound insular, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more open and welcoming population. Though the realities of local life are less sunny than the country’s skies – many regions are poor and lack basic services – Fijians are famous for their hospitality and warmth, which makes it easy to make friends or immerse yourself in Fijian culture on a village homestay.
BEST TIME TO GO TO FIJI
The best time to go to Fiji is whenever you have the chance. This is Fiji we're talking about! Temperatures stay pretty constant through the year, with highs resting in the 80s; however, from November to April, you might have to contend with some tropical storms. For the Fiji experience that you've always dreamed of, the best time to visit is from July to September, but you will have to contend with sky-high prices as this is also peak season. The shoulder seasons are short – May to June and October – but they're nice times to visit since heavy crowds will either have just departed or have yet to descend.
July-September -The months between July and September constitute high season in Fiji. The sun shines bright, warming the islands to daily temps that range from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. But keep in mind that this is the most popular and most expensive time to visit, so you'll see flocks of tourists forking over hundreds of dollars to soak in the Fijian rays. Since this is winter break for many Australians and New Zealanders, you might also spot a lot of families.
October - October is one of the short shoulder seasons in Fiji, coming right after the high season and right before the rainy season. Prices on hotels and flights should go down a bit, while daily temperatures remain high, ranging from the upper 60s to upper 80s.
November-April - November through April constitutes Fiji's wet season (or "typhoon season"), and the weather is characterized by high temperatures and short storms. But if you travel now, you'll save the most on airfare and accommodations. Temperatures, however, are at their annual peak and fluctuate between the low 70s and low 90s.
May-June - May and June are another short shoulder season during which you can visit Fiji without all the crowds. You could also score discounted airfare and hotel rates. Daytime temperatures range between the mid-60s and mid-80s, making beach-bumming perfectly hospitable.
GETTING TO FIJI
Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is an approximately 3-4 hour flight from Australia’s east coast. Getting to Fiji is easy and affordable thanks to a great range of cheap flights offered by trusted airlines such as Fiji Airways and Virgin Australia. Direct flights are available departing from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with connecting flights operating out of most Australian cities.
Transfers From Nadi International Airport
Most international flights into Fiji arrive in Nadi, with taxis and shuttle transfers available from the airport to your resort. Although clearing airport customs and immigration usually only takes around 30 minutes, it is advised that you allow 1 hour between the time your flight arrives and the time you schedule to be picked up for your transfer. Transfers are only operated at limited times throughout the day and if your flight arrives after the last transfer departs or you miss your transfer, you will have to spend the night in nearby Denarau. Transfer times between the airport and other popular holiday destinations such as Denarau, the Coral Coast and the surrounding islands vary.
Getting to Denarau
Located on the main island of Viti Levi, Denarau is just a 25-minute drive by private car from the Nadi International Airport. For guests travelling by coach transfer, the trip to Denarau can take up to an hour due to stops along the way. Denarau Marina is also the launch point for water transfers to the outer islands.
Getting to the Coral Coast
Located southeast of Nadi, getting to the Coral Coast can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on where you’re staying. Shangri-La's Fijian Resorts & Spa is just 45 minutes from the airport via private car transfer while the Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa is around 1 hour and 15 minutes away. Sigatoka and resorts such as Outrigger Fiji, Naviti Resort Fiji and The Warwick Fiji take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes respectively. Private car transfers are recommended for getting to the Coral Coast as coach transfers can easily add another 30-45 minutes to your trip.
Getting to the Islands
Located off the west coast of the main island of Viti Levu, the Mamanuca Islands can be reached by launch transfer, water taxi and the Malolo Cat. Upon arriving at the airport, you will make the 25-minute trip to the Denarau Marina, ensuring you arrive 25 minutes before your launch transfer (this does not apply to South Sea Island Cruises, Water Taxi or the Malolo Cat). Launch transfers from the Denarau Marina to the Mamanuca Islands take approximately 2 hours and depart regularly throughout the day.
For customers transferring to the Mamanuca Islands from a Denarau resort, transfer pick up from the resort will be 45 minutes before your Marina departure. Customers transferring from a Coral Coast resort need to allow up to 2 hours prior to the launch departure to make their way to the Denarau Marina. If your flight arrives after the last transfer of the day, you can choose to spend the night in Denarau before transferring to the islands the next day. You also have the option to hire a private water taxi to your resort at an additional expense. Seaplane and helicopter transfers may also be available depending on the time and day.
It’s recommended that you arrange your transfers when booking your flights and accommodation to ensure you have enough time to make your transfer. Many transfers offer a meet and greet with launch transfer check-in at Nadi Airport before boarding a coach for direct transit to Denarau Marina where your launch transfer will depart. Transfers are also available from Nadi, Coral Coast and Denarau hotels.
GETTING AROUND FIJI
Cities and larger towns have paved roads suitable for everyday cars, while island interiors are often criss-crossed by rough trails. There are no passenger trains in Fiji.
Car There are rental car agencies in heavily populated or touristed areas. A 4WD is a good idea if you're exploring out of town. Local carriers can also be chartered.
Taxis Cabs, commonplace in cities and towns, can be an inexpensive option for daytrips, as well as shorter commutes.
Bus Fiji's larger islands are well-served by long-distance buses. Cheap, often windowless local buses offer a friendly, truly Fijian experience (as in: timetables are erratic, but you'll have a good time riding them!).
Boat Ferries and cargo ships travel between Viti Levu and other islands. Be sure to check how often they return, especially to more remote destinations; some only run once a week. There are regular ferries between Nadi and the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups.
Plane Fiji Airways (operating domestically as Fiji Link) and Northern Air fly from Viti Levu to many of the outer islands. Private seaplanes and helicopters are an option for island resorts.
Viti Levu’s airports at Nadi and Nausori (near Suva) are the main domestic hubs. Other domestic airports include:
- Savusavu and Labasa (Vanua Levu)
- Vunisea (Kadavu)
- Matei (Taveuni)
- Bureta (Ovalau)
- Koro (Lomaiviti)
- Vanuabalavu and Cicia (Northern Lau)
- Lakeba (Southern Lau)
Some other small islands also have airstrips, including Yasawa island and Malololailai and Mana in the Mamanucas; otherwise, chartered seaplanes or helicopters can get you almost everywhere in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Groups.
Cycling allows you to see the countryside at your own pace and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. It’s a particularly good way to explore Viti Levu, Vanua Levu (the Hibiscus Hwy) and parts of Ovalau and Taveuni.
WHERE TO STAY IN FIJI
Located directly on the beach along Fiji's famous Coral Coast, Warwick Fiji is a 5-star resort with stunning Pacific Ocean views. All rooms have a private balcony. All non-motorised water sports equipment can be hired free of charge. Water activities at The Warwick Fiji include kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boats, windsurfing, fishing and scuba diving. Leisure facilities include 4 tennis courts, 2 squash courts, a fitness centre and 18-hole mini golf course. Guests can also try archery, table tennis and karaoke. There are also 2 outdoor pools and a hot tub. Guests have a choice of 5 restaurants and 4 bars, including a swim-up bar and a cocktail bar overlooking the beach. Full buffet breakfast is served each morning at Bula Brasserie. Warwick Fiji is situated a 90-minute drive from Nadi International Airport. Beqa Lagoon offers the perfect spot for diving and is a 45-minute boat ride from the resort.
- Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Situated on the beachfront, this 5-star luxury resort on Viti Levu island features a large outdoor swimming pool, day spa, 24-hour room service, plus 7 restaurants and bars. Facilities at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort include a 24-hour fitness centre, golf training facility, and free use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment. Bebe Spa features 7 treatment rooms with private open-air balconies and ocean views. Set amongst 40 acres of palm trees and tropical gardens, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort offers modern air-conditioned rooms and thatched bungalows. Each features a refrigerator, PlayStation and cable TV. Guests at The Outrigger Fiji can dine in award-winning restaurants or enjoy sunset cocktails by the beach. Fijian cultural activities include a kava ceremony and traditional Fijian fire walking show. Outrigger Fiji is 7-minute walk from Kula WILD Adventure Park, 23 minutes' drive from Cuvu Beach and a 1-hour drive from Nadi International Airport.
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa
Boasting 2.5 kilometres of private beach, the luxurious Hilton Fiji Beach Resort offers spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. It features a day spa and 9 swimming pools, including 2 adults only pools in the Koro complex. Free WiFi is available in public areas around the property. Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa is located 12 minutes’ drive from Nadi Town and 3 minutes' drive from the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. Nadi International Airport is a 20-minute drive away. Opened on June 26, 2017 at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, KORO is an adult only zone that includes beachfront restaurants with all day dining, a bar, expansive outdoor pools and a deck. There is live entertainment offered every night and there is a day spa and fitness centre, located alongside the KORO complex. All the rooms at the Hilton Fiji Resort are luxuriously appointed, with flat-screen cable TV and DVD players. Each room is air-conditioned, and most also feature gorgeous ocean views. Guests can work out in the fully equipped fitness centre. Nearby activities include fishing, jet skiing and diving. Children receive free access to the kids club. Union Pay credit cards are accepted and there are Chinese speaking staff at the property. Nuku offers Fijian specialities and international cuisine, while Maravu features Pan-Asian cuisine and stunning water views. The Deli serves a range of espresso coffees, pastries and gelato. The adults only Koro offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji
Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji is an integrated resort complex with 6 swimming pools, 14 dining options, an 18-hole golf course and 10 tennis courts. This luxurious property enjoys a beachfront location at Denarau Island and is a 10-minute drive from Nadi Town. Free WiFi is available. All guest rooms include air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and flat-screen satellite TV. The en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries and a hairdryer. Slippers and a complimentary dental kit are provided. Guests can enjoy both motorised and non-motorised water sports equipment available on hire. You can access the beach directly. There is also a day spa, a fitness centre and a hot tub. Guests also have access to Denarau Gold & Racquet Club as well as use of the Bula Bus service. Guests are spoilt for choice with a variety of restaurants/cafes to choose from at the property. The Kitchen Grill is located at the beachfront and poolside and is beautifully designed to reflect the Fijian culture with the warm and relaxing ambience of the South Pacific. The contemporary grill menu boasts local produce and share plates. The Ocean Terrace offers the Westin buffet breakfast enriched with SuperFoodsRX™. Look out over the Nadi Bay and indulge in the selection of hot breakfast items, including a live cooking station where one of the Resort's Chefs can prepare eggs to your liking. Zing restaurant features a variety of fresh produce and ingredients and offers a fusion of Chinese and Indian influences, while The Westin Bakery offers light snacks, wraps, pastries and coffee/tea throughout the day. Enjoy a relaxed dining experience or just pop in for a cocktail amid beautiful ocean views and sunsets in our beach-side location at The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. Our Meke Lovo Cultural show nights, taking place every Wednesday and Saturday, are always a sell out, so be sure to book your seat well in advance. Guests will witness the mystic gift of walking barefoot on hot rocks, followed by a lovo cooking styled feast. Guests staying at The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji, have access to all facilities at the sister properties Sheraton Fiji Resort and Sheraton Denarau Villas. Fiji Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa is a 3-minute drive from Port Denarau Marina and a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport.
This exclusive adults-only resort offers beachfront accommodation set amongst white sand beaches on the beautiful island of Qamea. Facilities include a PADI dive centre and a luxury day spa. Free activities include snorkelling, sea kayaking, volleyball, and visiting local villages. Guests can relax by the pool or at the Qamea Spa with a menu of Fijian body therapies and facial treatments. Accommodation options include luxurious traditional bures, and beachfront villas. All accommodation is air-conditioned and features spacious covered patio with outdoor furniture and a hammock. Some feature a private pool and a flat-screen TV. Qamea Restaurant serves local cuisine made from fresh seasonal produce. You can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere over a leisurely breakfast or a beachfront lunch.
- Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa
Koro Sun Resort offers air-conditioned bungalows and luxury villas with stunning ocean views. Guests have access to a private beach and a day spa. Free transfers to and from Savusavu Airport are provided. All accommodation at Koro Sun Fiji Resort & Rainforest Spa includes a balcony, refrigerator, tea/coffee making facilities and minibar. Some villas have a DVD/CD player. Facilities include a 9-hole golf course, outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and children’s playground. The Rainforest Spa offers a range of relaxing beauty treatments. In-room massages can be arranged. The resort’s restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located on the island of Vanua Levu, Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa is a 10-minute drive from Savusavu Airstrip.
- Mana Island Resort & Spa - Fiji
Featuring 4 bars, 2 restaurants and 2 swimming pools, this beachfront resort offers stunning ocean or tropical garden views from your private balcony or patio. Guests also enjoy a hot tub, tennis courts and a day spa. Mana Island Resort & Spa - Fiji is 15 minutes' from Port Denarau by sea plane or helicopter, or 45 minutes' by boat. You can go snorkeling directly off the beach or relax on the poolside and beachfront sun loungers. There are regular traditional Fijian cultural activities to experience, including kava ceremonies. All accommodation at Mana Island Resort includes a refrigerator, a sofa and tea/coffee making facilities. Each has a private bathroom with slippers, bathrobes and toiletries. Some bungalows offer a spa bath. South Beach Restaurant offers cuisine with European, Pacific Island and Japanese influences. Mamanuca Restaurant features al fresco dining with themed buffet dinners each night. Chinese speaking staff are available and Union Pay is accepted at this property. All meal plans exclude beverages.
- Kokomo Private Island Fiji
Kokomo Private Island Fiji has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and garden in Ndravuni. This 5-star resort offers room service and a kids' club. The property features pool views, an outdoor pool and a 24-hour front desk. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a microwave, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. At the resort the rooms have a wardrobe and a private bathroom. Guests at Kokomo Private Island Fiji can enjoy a continental or a buffet breakfast. The accommodation offers a children's playground. You can play darts and tennis at Kokomo Private Island Fiji, and the area is popular for snorkelling and canoeing.
This Fiji island resort offers an award-winning private island retreat, surrounded by white sand beaches, coral reefs and crystal clear waters. The resort offers 4 restaurants, free non-motorised water sports and a free kids club. Each of the spacious and traditionally thatched Fijian-style bungalows at Castaway Island has a refurbished private bathroom. Guests can choose to stay in a bungalow located directly on the beach. Free resort facilities include a tennis court, beach volleyball, canoeing, windsurfing, snorkelling and hobie catamarans. You can relax on the beach or in a hammock, or indulge yourself with a massage or body treatment. Overlooking the beach and ocean, the award-winning Restaurant 108 serves Asian, Fijian and Indian fusion cuisine. Water’s Edge Restaurant serves Fijian cuisine and sweeping ocean views. Sundowner Pizza Bar serves wood-fired pizzas and is located on the beach front. Nuku Marau Pool Bar & Grill is situated by the pool. Castaway Island is situated 27 km from Denarau Island. It can be reached in 15 minutes by helicopter or seaplane from Nadi Airport.
- Musket Cove Island Resort
Set within a tropical garden of coconut palms, Musket Cove Island Resort features 2 swimming pools, 2 bars, a restaurant and a day spa. All accommodation is located alongside the lagoon or white sandy beach. Options include bungalows and villas with a patio or balcony offering lagoon views. Situated in the Mamanuca Islands, Malolo Musket Cove Resort is just 200 m from Plantation Island Church. It is 5 minutes’ walk from a 9-hole golf course. All accommodation offers traditional and rustic Fijian décor. Some accommodation offers a private pool, a hot tub or a fully equipped kitchen. All accommodation includes a separate living area. Dicks Place Bar & Bistro offers à la carte Fijian cuisine, while The Coffee Cove Café serves casual meals overlooking the lagoon. Ratu Nemani Island Bar has a variety of local spirits, beer and wine. A free American-style buffet breakfast is included. The Mandara Spa offers manicures, pedicures, massage and body scrubs. Guests can relax with free use of beach umbrellas and poolside sun loungers. Windsurfing, snorkelling and kayaking can also be enjoyed on site. Union Pay is accepted at this property.
PLACES TO GO & THINGS TO DO IN FIJI WITH FAMILY
Fiji lures visitors with its aquamarine waters and soft, warm sands that you'll find right outside the doors of your resort. In this setting, you can snorkel with manta rays in the Yasawas, scuba dive near Taveuni, or party in the Mamanuca Islands. But if you prefer something a bit tamer, you can visit a history museum or stop to smell the orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. With so much to do, don't forget to lay back and relax – it's not every day that you're in Fiji.
If you're looking for a beautiful, central place to stay and enjoy the beach, the Coral Coast is a good bet. You'll find it on the southwest side of Viti Levu. Along its pearly white sands, you'll spot resorts and hotels galore. But even if you're not staying at one of these, you can access the shoreline from Queens Road, which runs between Nadi and Suva. Be sure to bring water, snacks and sunscreen with you, especially if you're not staying in one of the adjacent properties. Energetic travelers will love the Coral Coast for its athletic offerings, such as Ecotrax, which offers rail-mounted push carriages that take visitors through lush Fijian landscapes. Visitors can also immerse themselves in Fijian culture for a day with the Fiji Heritage and Culture tour which takes visitors to places such as a pottery village and Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park.
This chain of 20 islands garners attention for its lush landscapes, striking volcanic peaks, sparkling blue lagoons and ever-present sunshine. The Yasawa Islands are also known as the great granddaddy of the Mamanucas in both breadth and magnitude. Here, the number of things to do is infinite. You can work up a sweat hiking along Waya island, or, for something less exhausting, try laying out on Oarsman's Bay beach on Nacula, or meet a manta ray on Nanuya Balavu or Drawaqa. To get around, you can hire a seaplane from Nadi or a ferry from Denarau Port. Trips to the Yasawas take about 30 minutes via seaplane and several hours via boat (depending on the island you visit). Many of the companies offer transit services from Port Denarau directly to resorts, which makes it easy to stay in the Yasawas for a few days. Prices vary depending on transit company. Prices vary depending on transit company, but you should expect to spend around FJ$400 (around $186) per person one-way for a seaplane. If you choose to take a ferry, be prepared to spend several hours on the water to get to the Yasawas when coming from Port Denarau and to spend around FJ$200 (or about $93) for a one-way ticket. If you can't decide which island to visit, purchase a Bula Pass from Awesome Adventures Fiji to island hop.
Catch a ferry from Port Denarau and zip over to the Mamanuca Islands. This set of roughly 20 islands offers travelers everything from a secluded resort on Navini Island to bumping bars on Mana or Beachcomber islands. The Mamanuca Islands are also known for their breathtaking beauty. In fact, they've served as the setting for the Tom Hanks film "Cast Away" and several seasons of the TV show "Survivor." Along with the spectacular scenery, travelers also appreciated all the water sports activities available in the waters surrounding the Mamanuca Islands; you can do everything from snorkel to dive to surf. Ferries are available from a few different companies; trip lengths and prices vary depending on which specific Mamanuca Island you visit. However, you can expect to spend at most two hours to get to a Mamanuca Island and pay at least $FJ169 (approximately $78) for a day cruise which will depart and return to Port Denarau on the same day.
When you think of Taveuni – Fiji's third-largest island – you should picture snorkeling and scuba diving. The coral reefs are unbelievably gorgeous and diverse. The world-famous Rainbow Reef sits off this island, which plays host to a colorful array of corals and the stunning Great White Wall. But you can be shocked and awed on dry land, too. Several hikes like the Lavena Coastal Walk (which terminates at a waterfall pool) and the Vidawa Rainforest Trail will afford you beautiful vistas. Both of these hikes are in or near Bouma National Heritage Park. You'll pay a small fee to access the park, but visitors say it is worth the price of admission. You can hitch a ride to Taveuni by plane or boat from Viti Levu or Vanua Levu. If you choose to fly, be sure to book a few extra days on either end of your stay, as planes are sometimes cancelled or delayed for weather. Getting to Taveuni from Vanua Levu by boat will take about two hours.
- Witness Firewalking Ceremony
Vilavilairevo, Fijian for "jumping into the oven," is the practice of firewalking. And it's not just the stroll across fire that's amazing; rather, it's the walking on fire without getting burned that's astonishing. It's said that the practice originated with a man named Tunaiviqalita of Beqa Island, who convinced a spirit god to allow him to forever have the ability to walk on scalding stones. It is said the ability to walk on the stones has passed through Tunaiviqalita's bloodline. Today, you can watch firewalking ceremonies at resorts throughout Fiji, but you can bet that the men doing it grew up in Beqa. Many resorts, like Outrigger on the Lagoon, offer regular firewalking shows to guests as part of its Signature Experience.
The Fiji Museum tells the history of the archipelago with artifacts that span 3,700 years. From cannibal forks to shell jewelry to Indian artwork, the items here showcase a long and diverse history. Recent visitors said the museum is well done and gives a great overview of Fijian culture and history. Several lauded the on-site gift store. As an added bonus, the museum is easily accessible on foot.
Port Denarau is located on Fiji's Denarau Island, which is connected to Viti Levu by bridge and is just a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport. Of course, you can hop on a boat and sail to other islands – like the Mamanucas –from this port. But you can also stay on dry land and enjoy the hotels, restaurants and shopping at the approximately 32,800-square-foot Retail and Commercial Centre. There's also an 18-hole golf course and opportunities for water sports like jet-boating. Recent visitors enjoyed visiting the marina, saying that it has a variety of delicious food options. Several travelers also noted that there is a convenience store, which is a good place to avoid expensive hotel prices on travel essentials. You can peruse Port Denarau for free at any time, though individual shops and restaurants operate on individual schedules.
- Garden of the Sleeping Giant
The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is located in the foothills of the Nausori Highlands. The highlight here is the garden's collection of vibrant orchids. Once part of a private collection owned by the Canadian TV actor Raymond Burr, the orchids have thrived in Fiji's tropical climate. Another must-do is the "jungle walk," which wanders past a lily pond and through a native rainforest. Travelers said that the garden is a gorgeous and peaceful place to visit. They also loved the complimentary drink at the end of their walk. Others appreciated the garden's beauty, but were not sure if it was worth the admission price.
Boasting some of the world's greatest dive sites, Fiji offers sensational coral reefs in warm waters with high visibility. Whether you're an old pro, or you're just getting started, there's a diving opportunity to meet your needs.
Follow the pros and discover the world of surfing in Fiji. Seek gentle swells or some of the world's most challenging waves, whatever you're style, there's a wave that'll meet your match in Fiji.
Discover the real Fiji as you navigate its crystal waters in style. One of the best ways to explore the tropical atolls and striking volcanic outcrops of the South Pacific archipelago, cruising Fiji is an experience of lifetime. With cruises around the the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island Groups, TravelOnline offers a curated selection of stunning multi-day cruises guaranteed to impress. Swim, snorkel and explore Fiji from atop the waves on these short single and multi-day cruises around the South Pacific archipelago.
Discover some of the best golf experiences in the world when visiting tropical Fiji. Boasting beautiful weather year-round, there’s rarely a day that doesn’t invite you onto the green. With a range of cutting edge golf facilities that cater to beginners, champions and everyone in between, no one need be left behind on a holiday fit for the whole family. Some of the top golf courses in the world are found in Fiji, but don’t be surprised if the stunning island landscapes prove too distracting.
- Go snorkelling and diving
The Fiji Islands are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs which are brimming with marine life. The waters are warm and clear year round. You can snorkel off many beaches, but you’ll discover the best snorkel spots if you head out on a boat trip to a coral reef to discover the resident fish and underwater life. Dive stores are located throughout the islands and in most resorts which run regular dive trips of all abilities and levels for those who wish to descend deeper.
A bure [pronounced bur-ray] is a traditional Fijian hut or bungalow with a thatched roof and natural timbers. Most resorts in Fiji offer bures as a style of accommodation for those wishing to have an authentic Fijian experience. The interior can be very modern within resorts with furniture, while traditional bures are very basic inside, with occupants sitting and sleeping on straw mats. Resort bures are usually very eco-friendly.
- Drive up the Nausori Highlands
For some of the best views of Fiji’s rural landscape and out to the Mamanuca Islands, head up the Nausori Highlands off the Nadi Back Road. From the road, you can hike around some of the hills and have a clear view out to the entire wider Nadi and Denarau area and out to sea.
- Go horse riding along the beach
Horses play a key transportation role for many Fijians, especially those living in rural areas. It’s not unusual to see young children riding and guiding several horses in one go through rural villages. There are several beaches along Fiji’s Coral Coast such as at Natadola Bay and Wailoaloa where you can go horse riding at sunset along the beach. This activity usually must take place at sunset or early morning as the heat can get too much for the horses during the middle of the day.
- Get a Fijian spa treatment
Loosen up the muscles with a traditional Fijian massage. Most resorts and tourist areas offer various spa treatments from Fijian massage to coconut milk skin treatments. Coconut-based products are used in many island spa therapies and expect to see frangipanis adorning the massage tables.
- Drink fresh coconut water
A sweet drink, fresh coconut water is hydrating and delicious. You can purchase ready-to-drink coconuts in your resorts, restaurants or the cheapest option is on the roadside stalls. Stallholders will lop the top off with a machete and give a straw to drink the juice. Once you’ve finished the liquid, you can crack open the rest of the shell to scoop out and eat the flesh.
Fijian sunsets are something special. The colours tend to linger in the sky, bathing the surrounding areas and palm trees in a harmony of red, pink and golden light. Sunsets are especially spectacular after an afternoon thunderstorm where the clouds are already in intense and dramatic formations.
- Visit an archaeological site in Sigatoka
Fiji has many historic and archaeological sites which have helped lead researchers to believe the early Fijians were a prehistoric Lapita people. Excavations have discovered pottery shards dating back 2,600 years. There are some sites where even human remains have been excavated – revealing evidence of Fiji’s cannibalistic history.
The Kula Eco Park near Sigatoka has a breeding programme for the crested iguana. This wildlife park has an array of beautiful Fijian flora and fauna – including the opportunity to hold one of these bright green reptiles. The Eco Park has a strong focus on educating children about these creatures, and others who call the park home.
WHERE TO EAT IN FIJI
There’s no wonder Fiji is a popular tourist destination, blessed with 333 soft, white sand tropical islands and surrounded by beautiful tranquil waters. There’s an array of Fijian culinary gems located here – these are the 10 must-visit Fijian restaurants.
- Wicked Walu Seafood Restaurant
Award-winning luxury Wicked Walu Seafood Restaurant, located on the popular Coral Coast, is on its own island. The surrounding tranquil waters make the restaurant a perfect, relaxing location for an outdoor romantic meal. Even if you don’t sit outside you can still experience the sand between your toes, thanks to the sandy floor created inside. Expect to be served the best fresh seafood grills in Fiji, including fresh crab and lobster.
- Beach Cocomo Vakacegu Café
Slightly different to the usual restaurant, this quaint cafe has some of the best food to be tasted in Fiji. Lovingly made dishes are prepared by traditional earth oven-cooking known in Fiji as a lovo. Beach Cocomo Vakacegu Café maintains a traditional Fijian appeal for its customers, who eat their homemade meals in an open-windowed, thatched-roof bungalow.
- Tokoriki Oishii Teppanyaki Restaurant
Tokoriki Oishii is one of the outstanding restaurants on the island. Located in lush tropical gardens, the restaurant serves expertly prepared traditional Japanese teppanyaki dishes. After a walk through the ambient palm tree-sheltered gardens, expect to be served high-class, fresh food at this teppanyaki restaurant.
Consistently described as one of the best restaurants in Fiji by visitors, Taste Fiji Kitchen has become a popular choice for many tourists. Found on the island of Nadi, the owners of the restaurant take pride in using the best locally grown fresh Fijian ingredients. Taste Fiji Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea as well as a selection of delicious desserts.
Traveler’s Choice 2013 winner Flying Fish Restaurant is recognized for its combination of inventive culinary dishes and impressive ambiance. The dishes served here are truly inspirational, combining the best of worldwide flavors and, of course, fresh Fijian seafood. The restaurant, set on the waterfront, provides an exceptional environment for its visitors. Although a little higher in price than usual, Flying Fish Restaurant reflects that in quality.
Found on the Sheraton Fiji Resort, Ports O’ Call is regarded to be one of the best fine-dining restaurants, with exceptional service to match. The restaurant offers its visitors a luxuriously put together international menu to accommodate all tastes. The settings reflect the high-class food, with the charming decor resembling a luxury cruise liner. It also has table-side silver service where diners are treated like royalty when visiting. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand, as this is one of the most popular restaurants in Fiji.
Unsurprisingly given its name, Eco Café is an eco-friendly bamboo-constructed cafe. With an emphasis on culture fusion, the cafe offers a range of appetizing dishes, including ‘slow food’ made with fresh Fijian ingredients as well as high-quality, traditional Italian cuisine such as pizzas and pasta. The restaurant provides a close-to-nature feeling for its visitors as the cafe is constructed entirely from natural materials. The friendly and warm family-run place means that the hospitality matches the loving care put into the construction of the charming cafe.
Pleasantly located close to the ocean and nestled among lush green palm trees, Ocean Terrace has something to offer all its visitors. As well as being a welcoming, child-friendly restaurant, the views surrounding Ocean Terrace are also ideal for a romantic, peaceful evening for two. Try this restaurant if you are looking for delicious yet affordable Fijian food. The best of traditional Fijian food is served here such as coconut and white fish crepes and exotic tandoori salads.
At Lomani Wai, enjoy a non-traditional way to dine — in a swimming pool. Located at the Radisson Blu Resort, the outdoor restaurant allows its visitors to enjoy exquisite food and the company of other diners with the addition of the cooling feeling of water lapping around your feet after a day in the blazing sunshine.
Another restaurant on the Coral Coast loved for its great food and friendly staff, Gecko’s offers entertainment on a regular basis, including Polynesian dance and Samoan fire dance. Visitors to Gecko’s Restaurant can also take advantage of the lush surroundings, and a post-dinner walk to the nearby beach is a sure way to end a perfect evening.
WHERE TO SHOP IN FIJI
Visitors from every nook and corner of the world ensure buying souvenirs and stuffs that aren’t easily found in their respective nations. It is possible because this destination won’t cause a big hole in your pocket due to being an affordable option from your desired accommodation to food choices and local travelling. So, here are 10 places where you can shop at, on your visit to Fiji.
- Municipal Handicraft Centre
Leave the modern shopping malls in Fiji aside and rather visit smaller ones for a newer experience. Many such lesser known shopping centers cater to the shopping requirements of locals as well as visitors throughout the year. Take for example the Municipal Handicraft Centre in Fiji is visited by herd of shoppers every day and throughout the year. It is a perfect place to purchase the Fijian and Island artifacts especially handicrafts. This market has sufficient parking space as well so that all visitors park their vehicles easily to involve in buying the rare stuffs comfortably and in peace of mind. Fijian cultural items and handicrafts can be purchased here at the bargain prices.
Famous for being the largest of the shopping malls in Fiji, MHCC is home to over 20 different stores, 15 variety food stalls and 10 trinket stalls to name a few. Considered as one of the places for best shopping in Fiji, MHCC stands for the Morris Hedstrom City Center. It is a modern multi-storeyed complex. This Shopping Centre in Suvavou is also popular for housing several restaurants that serve quality food from intercontinental and local cuisines to their diversified guests. Travellers and even locals visit to eat and take rest at this place.
Those of you looking for the best options for the clothes shopping in Fiji should head towards the popular Maui Bay Shopping Centre. This street is famous and an acclaimed one for variety of shopping outlets. Being Fiji’s prominent stores they bring ample varieties of featured top-notch cloth brands for the shoppers to choose from. In case your budget is tight, then you can also consider buying local products that too gives you ample satisfaction. This market remains jam packed throughout the year due to dealing into quality yet cost effective product options.
When it comes to deals in the handcrafts, Baravi Handicrafts remains an unbeatable market in Fiji. In fact, it is one of the most popular markets for such special items here. You can search for variety of souvenirs in this market. It deals into everything that can be ultimate handicrafts options to choose from the knick-knacks to t-shirts and et al. Product varieties are so much so that you end up buying many things even though you wanted not to buy anything or only selected things.
If you are looking for a best place for shopping in Fiji, then Savusavu Farmers’ Market can’t be ignored anyway. Both locals and tourists arrive at this place to buy the stuffs especially local fruits and seafood which are specialties here. Being a local market with global appeal, it also remains popular for the coconut oil varieties and sweets to numerous types of fresh coconut drinks. As the prices are reasonable and can be easily afforded by everybody, the visitors of this market keep increasing each passing of the day. Coconut milk, lobsters and traditional veggies such as tomatoes and cabbage are popular here.
Being one of the modern state-of-the-art shopping centers of Fiji, Tappoo always remains in the limelight amongst the tourists as well as locals. This shopping center has the primary motive to deal into the retailer trade of the finest and authentic products sales in Fiji. It has already become a major retailer in the domestic market of Fiji to cater to the global customers who arrive here as tourists. To purchase high quality items at the cost effective rates, both tourists and locals keep visiting this place every now and then.
If you are not looking for the shopping malls in Fiji, then head towards the Lawai Pottery Village instead. Women of this village guide you through their skillful step-by-step demonstrations from how the potteries are made and why should you buy such stuffs. Guests can browse their potteries to purchase a few and take them to their homes according to their specific needs. As the old tradition of this region mandates and that practice continues, they ask their guests to remove their shoes and hats.
Are you looking at the best places for shopping in Fiji? You must decide a place that fulfills your requirements. If your needs are for Original contemporary Fijian artworks, then 21K Gallery is the only place for your exploration. People from all over the world reach Fiji and ensure buying such precious items to take them home as memories. If you are an art lover, then you must visit this gallery at least once.
Damodar City Centre is a perfect place for the locals and guests willing to shop at a traditional style mall or wanting to catch a movie at the theatres. Besides various types of local items, people love to eat affordable yet delicious quality food here as compared to other places in entire Fiji. You also find plenty of shops dealing into many things from clothing to daily use items, beauty products and footwear et al. People spend quality time at the sit-down restaurants with their families and friends.
Do you want to buy precious items from Fiji like jewelry items and hand painting? Shopping in Nadi, Fiji at the La Galerie ensure you select and buy the items within your budget. This Gallery is popular for its own jewelry designs with the semi-precious stones, fresh water pearls and glass beads. The craftsmen working here are experts in the dyeing works. Tourists keep buying many items here like friendship bands, head bands, hairclips and the list goes on.